There are four simple ways to link PAN to Aadhaar; make the most of the deadline to avoid hassles later, explains Bindisha Sarang.
With barely a week to go for linking your permanent account number (PAN) and Aadhaar, taxpayers need to hurry since it is mandatory for filing income-tax returns.
Balwant Jain, a Mumbai-based tax expert, says, "Not linking the two cards would render PAN inoperative."
An inoperative PAN is likely to become useless for transactional purposes.
There are two ways to do so -- offline and online.
For those who are already registered users on the I-T filing Web site and have filed returns in the past, there's a possibility the linkage has happened.
If you are not sure, check it by visiting the I-T Web site: www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.
On the I-T Web site, select the 'Profile setting' page on the tab bar and select 'Link Aadhaar'.
A box will appear with your details.
Once you have checked and verified the details, you will need to provide your Aadhaar number and captcha code and then click the 'Link Now' button.
You will get a confirmation of your submission as a pop-up message.
In case you do not get any message, check your pop-up message setting and unblock the same for the I-T Web site.
For those who want to link the two numbers without logging into the I-T portal, the Web site www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in provides the option on the left panel 'Link Aadhaar'.
Click on it, and you will get a form.
Fill in the required details, including your PAN, Aadhaar number, name, and enter the captcha code.
Then click on the 'Link Aadhaar' button.
Once the I-T portal verifies your details with the Unique Identification Authority of India, it will share confirmation of linking both cards.
In case there is any mistake in the name mentioned on the Aadhaar and PAN, you will get one-time password to verify the same.
On mismatch in the data of PAN and Aadhaar, it's better to get it corrected before trying to link the two numbers.
The I-T department allows you to link the two numbers manually as well.
You can do this by visiting a nearby PAN service provider or National Securities Depository or UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services.
Get the form 'Annexure-I' and provide a copy of the PAN and Aadhaar.
You may have to do the biometric authentication in case there is a mismatch of date between the PAN and Aadhaar issuance.
Usually, any correction in the PAN details will cost you Rs 110.
To change the Aadhaar details, the prescribed fee is Rs 25.
For those who want to link via short messaging service (SMS) you need to send an SMS to 567678 or 56161 from your registered mobile number.
Type in the following message: UIDPAN <SPACE><12-digit Aadhaar><SPACE><10-digit PAN>.
For instance, if Aadhaar number is 123412341234 and PAN is ABCDE9999S, then you need to use UIDPAN 123412341234 ABCDE9999S to 567678 or 56161.
There is no extra fee, but SMS charges levied by the mobile operator will be applicable.
What happens if the PAN becomes inoperative after December 31?
Sudhir Kaushik, co-founder and chief financial officer, TaxSpanner, says, "Yes, if the I-T department allows you to link the two numbers after your PAN is rendered inoperative."
The tax department has not yet defined the meaning of inoperative.
It is better you don't miss the December-end deadline.